THE USE OF TIME STANDARDS

A well structured organisation embracing Work Measurement Standards would normally be characterised by employing the following principles and procedures:

• • • • • • •

Defining the work covered by the allowed (agreed) time - the Job Specification; The Standard Minute or Work Unit; Programme Planning and the Utilisation of Plant & Labour - Work Plan; Estimating; Standard Costing & Budgetary Control; Incentive Schemes; Organisation of the daily recording system associated with Work Measurement: Labour-Cost Control.

Illustration: The Principle of 'Controls' Three vital things are required to ensure that management are in effective control: • • • • • A PLAN to show where management ought to be going; STATISTICS to show management whether things are going according to plan; ACTION by management to get back to the plan. Therefore the presentation of controls has only ONE objective: ACTION BY MANAGEMENT - (where necessary)

Some Popular Applications in the Use of Time Standards

1.Defining the work covered by the allowed time - The Job specification:
Whatever technique is used to construct an allowed time, it is important that a detailed record be made of the method, tools and equipment used and of every feature of the operation which could possibly have a bearing on the time. This is necessary at all times because changes in the work content of an operation affecting the time will also affect planning and costing; it is doubly important where the time standard is to be used in setting rates of pay under an incentive scheme. It is a cardinal principle of all sound incentive schemes based on work measurement that the time allowed should not be changed except when the work content of a job is changed, when there is a change in the organisation of the work or to correct a clerical error. The Job Specification represents the basic data on which this contract between employer and employee rests. The amount of detail necessary in a job specification will vary greatly depending on the nature of the operation concerned. In machine-shop work in the engineering industry, where a large number of different jobs are done on machines where the methods of operation are broadly similar, general conditions governing all jobs can be established for the whole shop and only variations in detail need be specifically recorded.

• . sketch of parts to be treated. size or type. Generally speaking the. • Details of the machine or plant on which the operation is to be performed including make.the principle of 'standard times' as a universal practice is therefore questioned. The manner in which the time standards are made known to the operatives depends largely on the nature of the work. checking and gauging requirements and frequency of inspection. occasionally recurring elements. plant register and number. allowed time for indirect work. of necessity. • Details of allowed times including individual elemental allowed times. in the case of specifications affecting a large number of employees. time study sheets. and cleaning or greasing activity frequencies. • Operation number and general description of the work covered. tools and fixtures. jigs. • The clerical procedure to be followed. • Quality Standards including quality grade.On the other hand. in particular) argue that every worker subject to work measurement should have the right to reach agreement personally with the employer. To the job specification should be attached all the data on which it is based including method studies. NB . • Any other special conditions or batch specific annotation. which should. indirect work.students researching such practices might choose to research any 'mutuality clauses' in National Agreements where the Trades Unions (history shows the Amalgamated Engineering Federation. embrace the standard method laid down as a result of the relevant Method Study: Details of the work piece or product. and. If the job is done by a single worker (the one who was measured) it is usually enough for the operative to be told personally. • Detailed description of all work covered including direct elements. irrespective of former work measurement results and agreements with previous operatives doing the same job . analysis sheets. finish and or tolerances. including drawing. where an operation involves a whole shop or department and will run for an indefinite period substantially unchanged. the job description may be lengthy and detailed. material specification. to the workers' representatives. rest allowance sheets and the work measurement summary. setting up. It may be necessary to supply copies of the job specification to the management and to the departmental and shop supervision. speeds and feeds. specification or product number and title. the following points should be covered by a job specification. pulley sizes or equivalent data. part time assistance from inspectors or supervisors. percentage rest allowance by elemental. sketch of workplace layout. • Grade of labour including indirect input.

each unit of time contains within it an element of rest. The proportions of rest and work will vary according to the heaviness or complexity of the work. The standard minute is the unit of measurement of output of work. The minutes or hours allowed for any given job are not minutes or hours of continuous work . The term used depends upon whether the time standard is called the allowed time or the 'work value'. costing the payment of incentive bonuses. It represents the output of work in one minute of the allowed time for any given operation. These composite minutes are known by various names.2. These time values represent the output at normal performance (100% BSI). In extremely heavy. which means the same thing. which may be represented by the ratio: Output of work in standard minutes :: Input of labour time or machine time in clock minutes . one hour. Z minutes per tonne. machine and shop loading and giving estimates of delivery dates it is actual rate of output to be expected which is of interest. the allowed times) are required. The Standard Minute or Work Unit Allowed times are generally set down in the following forms: X minutes per piece. The various uses to which time standards may be put demand information in differing forms. hot work such as furnace tending the proportion of rest may be 50% or more. this is called a 'standard hour'. If the hour is the basic unit. labour-cost control and indices of performance the time standards at normal performance (that is. Standard minutes are also known as 'points'. They are sometimes calculated or translated into hours. Since the standard minute is a measure of output it can be used in measuring and comparing productivity. the most common being standard minute or work unit. Adding 'work' to 'rest' must always give a total of one minute or. For estimating. in certain systems. hectare etc. The proportion of rest to work within the minute varies in the same proportions as the rest and other allowances to the normal time within the allowed time. the standard performance values.. but which derives from a slightly different approach. Y minutes per hundred (or per thousand) pieces or. that is. For planning programmes of work. metre.

Where this is the case these times should be those of the average performance of the shop or department as given by the production records over a period. The quantity involved. How much plant and equipment of the types necessary is available. What types of labour are needed.including the state of management . the accuracy of the comparison being limited by the consistency of the time standards. 3. What operations are necessary carry out the work. In order to plan a programme of work effectively.are such that the employees are working at an optimum rate. The information on items 1 & 2 is generally supplied by the sales office or commercial department . Programme Planning and the Utilisation of Plant & Labour . This must be matched against the total time available on each type of plant and with each type of labour necessary to perform the operations.the information for items 3. Both the requirements and the capacity available to fulfil them must be stated in terms of time. Requirements will be stated as: number of operations of each type performed times (multiplied by) expected time of each operation. with the result that one order does not immediately follow on another and plant and labour are not continuously deployed.the information on item 8 is supplied from personnel office records or those of the department concerned. among other things. equipment and tools are needed.Work Plan One of the causes of ineffective time due to management shortcomings is 'failing to plan' the flow of work and of orders. What plant.A particular advantage of the standard minute is that it can be used to measure and compare outputs in dissimilar types of work.the information on item 6 is supplied by work measurement .the information on item 7 is supplied from plant department records or those of the department concerned .labour relations and the system of remuneration in use . on whether the general conditions in the plant . In planning a programme only the actual times which the operations may be expected to take are of interest. This may even . These will depend. How much labour of the types necessary is available. it is necessary to know precisely: • • • • • • • • What is to be made or done. Once this information is available it becomes a matter of simple arithmetic to match the requirements with the available capacity .Capacity Planning. How long each operation may be expected to take. 4 & 5 is supplied by process planning and method study .

Estimating The success or failure of an enterprise in a competitive market may depend on the accuracy with which it is able to price its products. if so. 4. These standards can also be used as the basis of the labour budgets for Budgetary Control. accurately. if they are above. economic prices can be fixed. The need for such accurate standards cannot be overstressed. The matching up of production or operational requirements against capacity in this way makes it possible to: • • • Show whether there is an insufficiency of any type of plant or labour likely to hold up the programme or cause bottlenecks in the course of production and. Alternatively it can start looking for work to fill spare capacity. since these are the basis on which the employees are paid. of necessity. Show whether there is an excess of capacity in any type of plant or labour and its extent. related to the sales budget. Give accurate estimates of delivery dates. be based on estimates of those times. and the salaries of staff and supervision cannot be accurately determined. it can take steps to prevent hold-ups from occurring. If management can have such information. The labour times used for estimating are allowed times. Besides providing the standards. If these are below those of the competition. the actual performance figures. Without such standards it has no sure basis for doing either of those things. compiled from realistic standards of performance. rent. If the management can rely on the accuracy of the costing. indicate the plant and labour capacity likely to be available over the period of the budget. fuel and power consumption. the cutting of costs can be undertaken with more assurance than would otherwise be the case and with a knowledge of the margins available to be cut. It is the only realistic basis for such calculations. work measurement also provides. they provide certain of the information necessary for the production and indirect expense budgets and. Standard Costing & Budgetary Control Work Measurement provides the basic information for setting standards of labour costs and the means of controlling them. 5. Indirect costs dependent on actual times taken will. and many indirect costs dependent on time. such as plant depreciation. available well before production is due to start. the management can be happy in the knowledge that it is underselling competitors in safety. its extent. Unless the manufacturing time of the product is accurately known the labour cost cannot be estimated.apply to an individual machine or process. The absence of complete cost information is at the root of much poor management and of .

as usual. o Properly applied method study followed by work measurement enables management to guarantee the time standards with reasonable assurance that it is not exposing itself to risks of perpetuating uneconomic rates. adds an interest and may stimulate a competitive spirit. o The effect of the employees own actions on his earnings is brought home to him while the events concerned are still fresh in his mind. namely. both regular and irregular. Labour costs will. where this has been agreed with employees and their representatives. o That the times are based on direct observation and on recording by the most accurate practical means. repeated mistakes by the wages staff can rapidly undermine confidence. 6. to ensure that the times finally selected to make up the allowed time are truly representative and that random occurrences are taken into account. It is important for the success of any incentive scheme that the employees should know as quickly as possible the remuneration they have earned. is not the place to explore the merits of direct incentive schemes or to describe the various types of scheme suitable for differing circumstances. Incentive Schemes Direct incentive schemes based on output do not necessarily follow on an application of work measurement . be based on allowed times. This however. . o Repeated confirmation of their own calculations by the managements figures or clear expressions where they differ. o Any queries on the amount of payment due can be taken up and corrections made. Conversely.many failures of industrial concerns. o Sufficient observations are taken of all elements of work. One of the reasons why a good deal of attention is paid to work measurement is that its application is often the fore-runner of the introduction of an incentive scheme. o The posting of the figures daily on the notice-board.there are many enterprises where work measurement is in place but direct incentives are not employed. The merit of work measurement as a basis for incentive schemes lies in several features inherent in the technique. o The recorded times and associated data give a factual basis to any managementlabour negotiations on performance standards as opposed to the bargaining based on opinion which must take place when times are estimated. o Full records are made and retained so as to be available for examination by either management or employees should the occasion arise. before wages are made up. The value of this practice to an incentive scheme is as follows. tend to increase the confidence of the employees in the fairness of the system.

These forms are known as CONTROLS .they provide the management with compact and easily understandable statistics for the control of factory performance and costs. • Be economical of paper.where they can be put into forms suitable for use in compiling remuneration rates and performance of individuals or departments. In any system of recording associated with work measurement and an incentive scheme. Ensure that all necessary information is recorded as a matter of routine and transmitted with the minimum delay to the point of calculation.7. the general characteristics would be as follows . the following minimum data must be recorded and eventually transmitted to the wages and cost offices: INFORMATION SOURCE Hours of attendance of each operative Clock card or timesheet Allowed time for each operation Job Card . Lost or Waiting Time Waiting Time Slips It should be noted that the application of work measurement will almost certainly entail an increase in clerical staff . so that all the routine work can be carried out by comparatively unskilled clerical staff. Devising a system suitable for use in the organisation would be dependent on the sector the enterprise competes in. Organisation of the daily recording system associated with Work Measurement: Labour-Cost Control A full application of work measurement.usually the accounts department . has to be backed by a system of recording operatives' times and output of work. Working out a system to fulfil all these requirements for any but the smallest works engaged on the simplest type of manufacturing is not easy and the variety of systems for different applications is such that any set of examples given here would run the risk of being too complicated for some enterprises and insufficient for others. • Be simple to understand and to operate and as nearly as possible foolproof. when associated with an incentive scheme.the idea of this concerns many managers who fear increases • • . but safe to say. • Be economical of staff.it should: Provide accurate and full information. The text following will therefore be confined to some general notes on the basic data and its probable source. These times and output figures must then be assembled at a central point .Work Study Office Times of starting & finishing each operation Job Card or Worksheet Quantities produced Job Card or Worksheet Scrap or rectification quantities or times Scrap Note or Rectification Slip Ineffective.

This is generally done on what is known as a 'weekly analysis sheet' for the department. Such comparisons would be the precursor to identifying any remedial / congratulatory actions that the management might wish to set in train. on which the information is presented in a very compact form. The design of these sheets varies according to the needs of the organisation. In addition to the output (in standard hours) and the clock hours worked. The information necessary to operate the incentive scheme can be used to provide the management with weekly control figures from which they can observe the performance of each department. In the first part the labour utilisation and effectiveness is expressed in terms of time and in the second the figures are translated into costs. and can see the cost of same. Labour Cost and Deviation variances . Sheets are usually designed for a thirteen week period and typically would identify pay and effective performance. This enables comparisons to be made week on week with the anticipated results set out in the formal documentation of the scheme. . from which the productivity of the department may be calculated.in their overhead expenses. forgetting that the increased cost is likely to be very small compared with the savings which the techniques of work study can make in their total costs of production or operation. waiting time and additional allowances are analysed by causes so that the manager can at once question and take action on any cause of excessively high waiting time. but the usual form is divided into two parts.all shown in an indices form.

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